Saved by the Backup

Angel Sculpture | Pont Sant Angelo | Rome, Italy

Do you backup your photographs regularly?

I confess…I’m not as disciplined about it as I should be. I am an Apple user so I have Time Machine, which works well if I delete something and then realize my mistake within a year or so (or until my external hard drive is full and starts deleting the oldest files). However, what happens when I discover a missing original file from say, 2007?

A few weeks ago I was searching for a photo taken on a trip to Rome in October of 2007. I really like it, but I processed it a long time ago using iPhoto – not the most technologically advanced piece of software.

Angel Sculpture | Pont Sant Angelo | Rome, Italy | Saved by the Backup

2007 iPhoto Edit

I decided that I wanted to re-process it using what I know today and the tools I have at my disposal now….except I couldn’t find the original. I admit, I felt more than a little bit sick about it. At least I had the processed copy, but the original was gone….or so I thought.

This past week I took a fantastic vacation to the Napa Valley (more about that soon) and on the way home I stopped at my parents’ home in San Luis Obispo. For the past several years I’ve backed up every image to CD or DVD and mailed it to my mom for off-site safekeeping. I took a quick glance through my DVD archives and found the original!! I can’t even begin to explain the relief I felt when I pulled it safely off of the DVD.

Angel Sculpture | Pont Sant Angelo | Rome, Italy | Saved by the Backup

Original JPG

Now that I’m home I have saved the original to it’s rightful place in my hard drive and re-processed the image using today’s technology (Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 and Nik Silver Efex Pro 2).

Angel Sculpture | Pont Sant Angelo | Rome, Italy | Saved by the Backup

What do you think? I love the re-processed image!  I can really see how my photographic style has evolved in the last five years.

In conclusion I have two lessons to share with you:

  1. BACKUP your photographs!
  2. Be careful what you delete – technology is always changing and while you may not be able to “fix” a photo with the software you have today, tomorrow’s software might enable you to make it a masterpiece!

I’d love to hear what you think of the re-processed image in the comments. For more about my trip to the Napa Valley, stay tuned – I’ll be posting about my FANTASTIC vacation throughout the next week or so.

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